Longest rivers of the United Kingdom

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The Severn Bridges crossing near the mouth of the River Severn.
The River Thames in London.
The River Tay in Perth, by measured flow the largest in Great Britain.

This is a list of the longest rivers of the United Kingdom.

Longest rivers of the United Kingdom[edit]

Rank River Length (miles) Length (km) Mean Flow (m3/s)[1] Country
1 River Severn[2] 220 354 107.4 Wales/England
2 River Thames[2] 215 346 65.4 England
3 River Trent[2] 185 297 89.0 England
4 River Great Ouse[2] 143 230 15.6 England
5 River Wye[2] 134 215 73.1 Wales/England
6 River Ure/River Ouse, Yorkshire 129 208 69.8 England
7 River Tay[2] 117 188 179.0 Scotland
8 River Clyde 109 176 48.5 Scotland
9 River Spey 107 172 65.7 Scotland
10 River Nene[2] 100 161 9.3 England
11 River Bann / Lough Neagh 99 159 92.2 Northern Ireland
12 River Tweed[2] 96 155 81.7 Scotland/England
13 River Avon, Warwickshire 96 154 17.3 England
14 River Eden, Cumbria 90 145 53.7 England
15 River Dee, Aberdeenshire 87 140 47.8 Scotland
16 River Witham 82 132 5.2 England
17 River Teme 81 130 18.2 Wales/England
18= River Don, Aberdeenshire[2] 80 129 21.3 Scotland
18= River Foyle 80 129 58.8 Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland
20= River Teifi[3] 75 122 29.5 Wales
20= River Tywi 75 121 39.9 Wales
20= River Ribble 75 120 34.0 England
20= River Avon, Bristol 75 120 22.2 England
24 River Tyne[2] 73 118 45.2 England
25 River Derwent, Yorkshire 72 115 17.4 England
26= River Aire 71 114 36.5 England
26= River Nith 71 114 36.5 Scotland
28= River Tees 70 113 22.2 England
28= River Medway 70 113 11.7 England
28= River Mersey 70 113 37.1 England
31= River Dee, Wales[2] 70 112 34.1 Wales/England
31= River Don, South Yorkshire 70 112 16.3 England

There seems to be little consensus in published sources as to the lengths of rivers, nor much agreement as to what constitutes a river. Thus the River Ure and River Ouse can be counted as one river system or as two rivers. If it is counted as one, the River Aire/ River Ouse/Humber system would come fourth in the list, with a combined length of 161 miles (259 km); and the River Trent/Humber system would top the list with their combined length of 222 miles (357 km).[4] Also, the Thames tributary, the River Churn, sourced at Seven Springs, adds 14 miles (23 km) to the length of the Thames (from its traditional source at Thames Head). The Churn/Thames' length at 229 miles (369 km) is therefore greater than the Severn's length of 220 miles (354 km). Thus, the combined Churn/Thames river would top the list. Sue Owen et al., in their book on rivers, generally restrict the length to the parts that bear the same name. Thus the River Nene is quoted at 100 miles (160 km), but would be around 5 miles (8 km) more if the variously named sources were included. Many of the above lengths are considerably different from Sue Owen's list, some longer and some shorter.[2]

Where a river ends in an estuary the conventional British approach has been to treat the river as ending at the end of the administrative zone. Thus the Severn ends at the mouth of the Bristol Avon and the Thames at the Yantlet Line. The currently accepted end of the Severn Estuary is about 18.5 miles (29.8 km) further, and the PLA's authority stretches now to Margate, 30 miles (48 km) further. Other countries have different conventions, making comparisons of limited value.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://nrfa.ceh.ac.uk/data/search
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Owen, Susan; et al. (2005). Rivers and the British Landscape. Carnegie. ISBN 978-1-85936-120-7.
  3. ^ - River Teifi - CCW Archived 2014-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ http://copranet.projects.eucc-d.de/files/000165_EUROSION_Humber_Estuary.pdf